Environmental Center Team

Professional Staff     Student Staff     Research Assistants     Project Leaders     Executive Board     Past Directors

Professional Staff

Dr. J. David LambertJ. David Lambert, Ph.D.



With the Environmental Center since 2004

Dr. David Lambert is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics and Geography at the University of North Florida. He has taught courses at UNF related to green construction, environmental issues, sustainability, building codes, and geographic information systems. He currently serves as the Director of the UNF Environmental Center. 

For the past 25 years, he has concentrated on building interdisciplinary teams to develop and evaluate emerging technologies that can help us study society’s impact on the environment, and the impact of the environment on society. Since arriving at UNF in 1999, he founded, and has been the Director of, the Environmental Monitoring, Mapping, Analysis, and Planning Systems Lab (EMMAPS Lab) and the Advanced Weather Information Systems Lab (AWIS Lab). Over the years, both labs attracted considerable external funding for their research agendas. His teams have completed research contracts with over 40 different local, state, federal, and international organizations, and all of these projects have been interdisciplinary in nature. In 2004, he received the national “NOAA Environmental Hero Award”. Along the way, he was awarded 3 U.S. Patents, and, based on that technology, co-founded a company in 2000 called GeoAge, Inc. 

David has been an active member of the UNF Environmental Center’s Executive Board since the Center was formed. He has also been active in professional and community organizations. For instance, he served on the Board of Directors for the Intelligent Transportation Systems Florida Association, and is currently serving on the Board of the U. S. Green Building Council North Florida Chapter. 

James Taylor, coordinatorJames W. Taylor

(904) 620-5804

With the Environmental Center since 2011

James Taylor has been with UNF since 2004 -first as a student then as an employee. While achieving a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, he studied a variety of topics revolving around the environment and sustainability with a focus on food and agriculture. Mr. Taylor has conducted undergraduate studies and presentations on food culture and university dining facilities. Before joining the Environmental Center’s team in 2011, he worked with Dr. Jeffry Will in the Northeast Florida Center for Community Initiatives where he conducted a variety of community based research projects. 





Maria Mark, CoordinatorMaria Mark

(904) 620-5806

With Environmental Center since 2015

Maria Mark joins the Environmental Center as its new Coordinator for the Environmental Leadership Program. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation for almost nine years. Prior to her non-profit career, she was a litigation paralegal for 20 years. 

Maria brings an array of professional talents and inter-personal skills, all learned “on-the-job.” She is a 2014 Leadership Jacksonville graduate and 2015 Regional Leadership Academy graduate, and recently joined the Jacksonville Women’s Network. Maria also earned her Florida Master Naturalist Certification in 2008. 

In 2014, Maria received the “Voice of Equality” award from Equality Florida for her leadership in passing the first and only fully inclusive LGBT Human Rights Ordinance in northeast Florida, during her tenure as city commissioner of Atlantic Beach, FL (2011-2014).

Born in South Korea and adopted at 18 months old, Maria is an all-American gal. Raised in Columbia, SC and a University of South Carolina graduate, she now calls Atlantic Beach home where she’s been a long-time resident, along with her husband of 25 years, Bob, with their 16 year old son, Garrett. 

In her spare time, Maria enjoys golfing, nature photography and birding. 


Student Staff

John AloszkaJohn Aloszka
Communications Assistant

  Molly O'brienMolly O'Brien
Office Assistant

Natalie Sassine

Natalie Sassine 

Communications Assistant

  Tiffany Torres

Tiffany Torres

Graphic Designer 



Brittany WussickBrittany Wussick

Communications Assistant



Student Research Assistants

Shawna Melby

Shawna Melby

Sawmill Slough Preserve  
Arthropod Research



  Abbra PyleAbbra Pyle
Sawmill Slough Preserve
Digital History


Executive Board

Chis Baynard, Ph.D.Chris Baynard, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor
Department of Economics & Geography
Coggin College of Business
Charles Closmann, Ph.D.Charles Closmann, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of History
College of Arts & Sciences
ErinLargo-Wight, Ph.D.Erin Largo-Wight, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor
Department of Public Health
Brooks College of Health 

Brian Zoellner, Ph.D.Brian Zoellner, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor
Department of Foundations & Secondary Education
College of Education and Human Services

Past Directors

2004-2008 - Dr. Ray Bowman, Department of Chemistry (founding director)

2008-2013 - Dr. Radha Pyati, Department of Chemistry 

2013-2014 - Dr. Stuart Chalk, Department of Chemistry (interim director)